First Swirl: After my glass was poured I allowed it to settle and tilted my glass toward the white table cloth to capture it's color which exhibited a dark ruby core and nearly transparent colored garnet rim.
First Sip: While I had to hurriedly sip my wine, spit than jot a few quick tasting notes about the River of Skulls which said, this wine features abundant quantities of blueberries and blackberries which co-mingle with some subtle gamy, smoky, earthy notes intermixed with hints of licorice leading to a long finessed finish.
Alcohol and Price: This wine sells for somewhere between $28 and $35 bones depending on where you shop and weighed in at 14.7% and was barrel aged 40% New French oak, 20% New American oak, 40% Neutral oak for certain amout of time. (couldn't find the info)
The Vineyards: According to Twisted Oak, "the grapes are sourced from Dalton and Angels Camp vineyard which is in the vicinity of the Calaveras River, AKA the River of Skulls. It is a beautiful vineyard out on Dogtown Road here in Calaveras and is planted with about 8 different varietals.
Other Voices: Bill Daley, Food and Wine Writer for the Chicago Tribune: Tobacco and earth noise. Some shroom? Good cherry notes nice acids like the fruit. Optimistic wine despite River of Skulls name and selling for $35. Wine Enthusiast gave this wine a score of 90 points.
My Recommendation: Since this beautiful wine exhibits stunning concentration, a lithe richness, and length I would definitely pick some up quickly, as they have only made a little over 900 hundred cases (correction, only 300 cases) so you better hurry. Jeff Stai and Twisted Oak in one fell swoop demonstrated that like the folks at Tablas Creek, they are also leading New World practitioners when it comes to producing exceptional wine from this tricky varietal. Until next time stay thirsty my friends!